Have you ever wondered what exactly goes into making hardwood floors? The most traditional and long-standing type, solid wood flooring is made from planks from a single piece of wood. Its creation begins with a tree. After the tree is cut into logs, those marked for flooring (generally have tight grain and few knots) are cut into rough planks by one of a variety methods like:
- Flat or Plain Sawn – the most common type, strips are cut off the log into planks of wood.
- Quarter Sawn – the log is divided into fourths before being cut into strips of wood.
- Rift Sawn – the log is cut at a different angle (kind of like a pizza), making it more stable (and also more expensive).
After strips are cut from the log, they’re graded based on their appearance and planed on all sides to smooth out the saw marks and make sure the plank is level.
Once the strips are planed, they’re put through a machine that cuts tongue and groove edges so the boards can fit together tightly, and to allow for expansion and contraction of the planks. For homeowners that choose distressed hardwood floors, the boards are hand scraped next.
Lastly, the planks of wood are sealed or stained with protective finish or shipped out unfinished, depending on which type of solid hardwood flooring the consumer chooses. Some prefer their floors to be prefinished as it can make installation easier, although those finished following installation will actually retain the seal longer.
Want to know more? Give us a call, and keep an eye out for our next post that will share how engineered wood flooring is made.
Photo Credit: Joost J. Bakker IJmuiden